Posted by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -
Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX

GaymerX (formally known as GaymerCon) is an upcoming videogame convention that revolves around the LGBT community. In this episode of Steve&Matts we talked to its founder, Matt Conn. He's a 25 year old San Francisco resident that wants to shine a light on and provide a safe environment for the LGBT community.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

We got one more podcast interview going up later this week. Sorry for spamming a million shows. As I said, I'll be out of town and I struck a lot of luck I didn't want to waste on getting some solid guests on. I would release these throughout the month, but I won't have Internet access. It's actually super informative and insightful, but I'm the host so my opinion doesn't matter.

@stevenbeynon

#1 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

#2 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3202 posts) -

Ah yeah, cool dude. I'll give it a listen on my commute later.

#3 Posted by groverat (135 posts) -

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They need a safe place because the gamer community contains within it a hostile, festering shitpile of homophobia and transphobia.

Your complaint sounds like my racist uncle bitching about the existence of Black History Month and Black Entertainment Television.

#4 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@groverat said:

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They need a safe place because the gamer community contains within it a hostile, festering shitpile of homophobia and transphobia.

Your complaint sounds like my racist uncle bitching about the existence of Black History Month and Black Entertainment Television.

Wait people are hostile about gay gamer and conventions? Why do I never hear anything about it? I hear about women getting groped which is indeed a bad thing but I never heard about people attacking gay gamer at conventions. How do they even know you are gay? Normally and mostly you do not even notice if someone is gay or not.

As for the black history month. I am no American so I can not understand this as well yeah. But as soon you have these days or situations you are making yourself special or victimize yourself. At least in my opinion. For example: If you teach your cihld to be nice to girls or never hit girls you automatically makes them inferior. Instead you should teach your child to be nice to everyone and not to hit anyone.

#5 Edited by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -

@darji: That's an understandable stance. I had a similar question. That's why I talked to Matt. Listen to the show, it's about 50 minutes. Then come back.

#6 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3659 posts) -

@groverat said:

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They need a safe place because the gamer community contains within it a hostile, festering shitpile of homophobia and transphobia.

I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of a LGBT themed convention--and I can think of arguments for and against--but I absolutely think that anyone causing hostility towards gay people, or anyone else for that matter, should be immediately removed from any convention. There are reasons to have a LGBT convention, but I don't feel that "a safe space for gay people" is one of them. If that is a problem for any group or minority, that's a reason to change any convention that ISN'T a safe space for gay people. Throw those bigots out on their ass.

With that said, I'm listening to the podcast as I write this, and I'm agreeing with a lot of what he's saying. Good interview.

#7 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@darji: That's an understandable stance. I had a similar question. That's why I talked to Matt. Listen to the show, it's about 50 minutes. Then come back.

Ok I was listening for like 20 minutes but I am sorry but I had to stop there because the sound quality is pretty terrible on my headsets. So basically it is like Pax with panels which mákes much more sense. The save environment was really strange there. So Yeeah these things are totally fine.

However the Persona 4 talk was pretty terrible: She was never a transgender but rather she was a girl born in a male dominated world and they made it clear that a detective is not really a job for a women. So it is rather a story about sexism and patriarchy. Naoto never was naturally conflicted with her gender but she was because of her family and the "world" she lived in. Same goes for Kanji. He never was really gay but rather conflicted because he liked stuff that normally women do. And she never found a girl who he was attracted to until he met Naoto.

Also I find it very funny that Bioware is theer. The people who gave you the gay ghetto planet and also this^^

#8 Edited by groverat (135 posts) -

Darji

Yes, people are hostile towards gays and the idea of gay gamer conventions/groups. For instance, look at your first post and the questions you have that presume that the point of gay gamers forming some sort of alliance is so they can feel special and exclude non-gays. You expressed a good example of the hostility I was talking about.

Gays, like blacks, were/are victims before they decided to get together and organize. It's important to not blame victims.

Out homosexuals can actually be pretty easy to spot depending on their dress, speech, and behavior. They should be just as safe as those homosexuals who are more circumspect.

#9 Edited by Demoskinos (14769 posts) -

@groverat said:

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They need a safe place because the gamer community contains within it a hostile, festering shitpile of homophobia and transphobia.

Your complaint sounds like my racist uncle bitching about the existence of Black History Month and Black Entertainment Television.

By ostracizing yourself like that you're just continually bringing up that it IS an issue. I get that there is hostility but doing something like this just paints a bigger target on your back in the end. I also find your assumption that out of the closet gay folk are "easier to spot" frankly disgusting and stereotyping.

#10 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@groverat said:

Darji

Yes, people are hostile towards gays and the idea of gay gamer conventions/groups. For instance, look at your first post and the questions you have that presume that the point of gay gamers forming some sort of alliance is so they can feel special and exclude non-gays. You expressed a good example of the hostility I was talking about.

Gays, like blacks, were/are victims before they decided to get together and organize. It's important to not blame victims.

Out homosexuals can actually be pretty easy to spot depending on their dress, speech, and behavior. They should be just as safe as those homosexuals who are more circumspect.

Again I have to disagree. If you want equality you do not need special treatment in any form or way. And I am not hostile against any gender race or people with different sexual desires than me. I just don't like these types of stuff because they automatically victimize themselves. For example: I live in Germany and we had a very bad history but that was history. By remembering these past events like slavery all the time you will never get equality. And every time you complain about something and use the phrase because I am black or a woman" for example you most likely victimize yourself. Of course there are always exceptions like these stupid racist cops that need to be punished way more or these people that grope women etc. We should not treat groups special but rather treat these offenders special with harsher laws and more acting instead of just talking.

Also: I brought that up because I think the save environment stuff was way too much. It is totally fine to have convention to talk about that stuff in games but it is another thing to try to make people believe that these people need protection.

And I totally agree with Morgan Freeman. Stop talking about black and white. Stop talking about men and women when you talk about issues like domestic violence, rape etc. Just talk about people. That way you will get equality not otherwise.

#11 Edited by Vuud (1958 posts) -

Hey, since we've fractured and segregated ourselves into small identity groups in every other area of life. So why not video games too?

#12 Posted by groverat (135 posts) -

@Demoskinos

Some out gays choose to act/dress/behave in the way that is known as stereotypically gay by mainstream society. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is absolutely true. It is a point of pride for them to exist as an openly and demonstratively gay person in the outside world, and their taking pride in their sexuality and community is something that makes them a target. There's nothing disgusting about them doing it or me recognizing that this is what they are doing. Pride parades exist for a reason.

I respect Morgan Freeman's desire, but that is his own view that is not shared by everyone else of his race. It is not my place to tell minority/oppressed groups what they should or should not do.

@Darji

It is not your place to tell homosexuals what they should or should not do as a group. It is not your place to judge them for feeling that they need protection even if you think they do not. I think they know better than you about what they need, eh?

#13 Edited by MrSpaceMan (118 posts) -

People asking why this exists or why the gays are segregating themselves didn't listen to the interview.

Good podcast, Steve, Kessler, and Pascual! Probably some of the best non-professional stuff around.

#14 Posted by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -
#15 Posted by believer258 (11800 posts) -

@darji said:

@groverat said:

Darji

Yes, people are hostile towards gays and the idea of gay gamer conventions/groups. For instance, look at your first post and the questions you have that presume that the point of gay gamers forming some sort of alliance is so they can feel special and exclude non-gays. You expressed a good example of the hostility I was talking about.

Gays, like blacks, were/are victims before they decided to get together and organize. It's important to not blame victims.

Out homosexuals can actually be pretty easy to spot depending on their dress, speech, and behavior. They should be just as safe as those homosexuals who are more circumspect.

Again I have to disagree. If you want equality you do not need special treatment in any form or way. And I am not hostile against any gender race or people with different sexual desires than me. I just don't like these types of stuff because they automatically victimize themselves. For example: I live in Germany and we had a very bad history but that was history. By remembering these past events like slavery all the time you will never get equality. And every time you complain about something and use the phrase because I am black or a woman" for example you most likely victimize yourself. Of course there are always exceptions like these stupid racist cops that need to be punished way more or these people that grope women etc. We should not treat groups special but rather treat these offenders special with harsher laws and more acting instead of just talking.

Also: I brought that up because I think the save environment stuff was way too much. It is totally fine to have convention to talk about that stuff in games but it is another thing to try to make people believe that these people need protection.

And I totally agree with Morgan Freeman. Stop talking about black and white. Stop talking about men and women when you talk about issues like domestic violence, rape etc. Just talk about people. That way you will get equality not otherwise.

You're speaking from a place of idealism, though. Ideally, any man or woman regardless of race, sex, or orientation could go to a convention, be open about who they are, and not have to worry about racism, sexism, or homophobia. We don't live in an ideal world. So, here's a place for people who are LGBT to go without being afraid.

They're not victimizing themselves. They're making a safe place for themselves. It doesn't mean that they won't go to other conventions despite all of the slurs that might come their way, it just means that they want a place where they have no fear of these insults.

#16 Edited by jArmAhead (261 posts) -

@darji:

I'm gay, and I mostly agree with what you've been saying, and it seems like you aren't coming from a place of intolerance. Just wanted to put that out there. Just because I think Nathan Fillion is smoking hot doesn't mean I need to be kept away from those damned straights, either for protection or comfort.

At the end of the day, these kinds of issues tend to be issues rather than being a smaller set of problems with solutions.

@groverat said:

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They need a safe place because the gamer community contains within it a hostile, festering shitpile of homophobia and transphobia.

Your complaint sounds like my racist uncle bitching about the existence of Black History Month and Black Entertainment Television.

I'm gay, and one of my closest friends is gay. We've gone to PAX every year together since 2008. I've never once even experienced someone else being targeted because of their orientation. And I think personally this thing just draws attention to the differences between straight people and gay people, which is, in my opinion, as a gay person who has an actual opinion on this thing because of personal experiences, a bad thing.

I think people making it out like they can't go to conventions because of homophobia are hindering the cause more than helping it. But if they really want to, let them. Personally, I think gays should stop trying to seek out safety and just live their life honestly, openly, and regardless of the assholes.

But I'm just one guy. My experience is different from a lot of homosexuals. For one, I live in an area (Seattle) that is very friendly to the LGBT community. For another, I'm not what you'd call a stereotype. In fact, last year I was walking around PAX in my poolee shirt and Corps baseball cap. I've grown up in a way that means I don't really care about slurs, though I encourage people not to use them. I'm just not crushed when someone calls me a slur.

But I never once saw or heard anyone being abused for being gay at PAX. It's a pretty safe environment. I think the worst I've experienced was some kid saying something was "gay." Someone asked him not to use that word, and he just apologized and continued his conversation. I can't say that is the experience everyone has had, but it's the experience I've had, and I've had pro-homosexual "merch" or whatever on like a shirt or bandana on a couple of the days, and openly discussed attractive male folks at PAX. Never once had a run in.

It's honestly a really shitty argument, and I don't think you or darji are inherently right. On the one hand, it's their right to seek out a place they feel "safe," if they do not feel safe in the existing venues. On the other, a lot of demographics, homosexuals included, often do pull the victim card, and that's unfortunate because it doesn't help but simply holds us all back. Much like when people try to make a murder of a minority by another minority into fuckin' white vs black race card bullshit when it should just be the justice system doing it's job.

I don't think your attitude is particularly helpful though. Being an ass to someone because they suggest that we need to move past having "safe places" for minorities or celebrating minorities as if they are somehow different and need to be "celebrated." As a gay guy, I just want to be treated the same. I want to be able to serve my country, marry whoever I want, and go to conventions. And I want to be able to say "nope, not a victim." And I'd like to see every other homosexual in the same position. Right now, I have most of those things, and feeling safe at a convention is one of them. Assuming you don't make an ass out of yourself and dress up like a "sexy Disney princess" and have rainbow feathers and go around shouting "I'M GAY, HOORAY!" you should be plenty safe at a convention like PAX. And if you go around acting like that (see: a tool, just as you would be if you went around acting that way for being anything else), you will probably won't be abused or assaulted. At worst, you might be offended. Which happens to everyone for all kinds of dumb reasons.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as resilient as I am, and if they really feel unsafe at conventions, then I suppose there is a place for this one. Until a bunch of douches come around to protest or something.

I hope Darji is coming from an understanding and tolerant position, and I urge people not to treat people who share that sentiment like they are assholes just because they have a different but not exactly opposing opinion to the LGBT cause. Much like I was disappointed with how people (many of whom I suspect were speaking in defense of homosexuals rather than in defense of a lifestyle they actually live) reacted to the recent Penny Arcade thing, I'm disappointed at people shitting on someone for having a moderate position on an issue. You can be supportive of something without just saying 'GIVE THEM WHATEVER THEY WANT.'

But again, I'm a different case than probably most. Still, lets not just call someone a homophobe because they don't see the need for what is undeniably segregation. Not that it's wrong, just that it is clearly intended to separate demographics. And it's not unreasonable to say "hey, that's not the optimal situation."

And ultimately, having some balls and just standing up for what you believe in is often the best solution, instead of trying to seek out refuge away from the harshness of the world. Sometimes that is the only option you have, but when the most you have to fear are a few words, I believe it's important that gays stand up for themselves and learn to deal with people not liking them. They won't change everyone's mind, and it's good to have faith and love for yourself no matter what others say.

#17 Edited by Disaya (290 posts) -

Really enjoyed the podcast, thanks guys.

#18 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

"In a British wedding, they don't tie the bride to a hog." -Matt Kessler, 2013

#19 Posted by YOU_DIED (702 posts) -

@vuud said:

Hey, since we've fractured and segregated ourselves into small identity groups in every other area of life. So why not video games too?

#20 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1850 posts) -

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

Are... are you kidding?

I've said it enough times and I'll keep saying it until it apparently sticks; trans people get the SHIT kicked out of them in public simply for being trans. You think that if I went to a convention filled with literally thousands of people from all different parts of the world with different ideologies that I am going to feel safe? That out of those thousands of people, not one isn't going to want to hurt me for being who or what I am? I wouldn't say that I am super thrilled or excited that there's now a convention for people JUST LIKE ME WOW IM NOT ALONE(I have not listened to the podcast yet but I will just say that in the LGBT circle, the T part is often forgotten or left behind so I don't necessarily consider myself "accepted" at this convention cause I am sure that the T part was once again an afterthought here and there are plenty of gay people that hate me too) but gay individuals can have it just as badly as trans individuals do and YES WE NEED A PLACE TO GO WHERE WE CAN JUST RELAX AND NOT WORRY ABOUT BEING STABBED FOR ONCE

#21 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

Are... are you kidding?

I've said it enough times and I'll keep saying it until it apparently sticks; trans people get the SHIT kicked out of them in public simply for being trans. You think that if I went to a convention filled with literally thousands of people from all different parts of the world with different ideologies that I am going to feel safe? That out of those thousands of people, not one isn't going to want to hurt me for being who or what I am? I wouldn't say that I am super thrilled or excited that there's now a convention for people JUST LIKE ME WOW IM NOT ALONE(I have not listened to the podcast yet but I will just say that in the LGBT circle, the T part is often forgotten or left behind so I don't necessarily consider myself "accepted" at this convention cause I am sure that the T part was once again an afterthought here and there are plenty of gay people that hate me too) but gay individuals can have it just as badly as trans individuals do and YES WE NEED A PLACE TO GO WHERE WE CAN JUST RELAX AND NOT WORRY ABOUT BEING STABBED FOR ONCE

Ok again.... Did you hear any news of tans gender or gay people being attacked at a convention like PAx? And no matter who or what you are there is always a risk of getting stabbed or attacked. There are a lot of assholes out there everywhere. Hell in my hometown where I was born a 13 year old just stabbed a busdriver to death because he could not smoke in the bus. I am not saying you guys should not have a convention I am just saying that there was no accident that people really need a place to feel save. It really sounds a bit strange. Relaxing and being under the same is totally understandable but being safe is just way too much.

Also having such an event also can lead to violence because people who hate guys like you and are very crazy and violent could just visit that convention and make some trouble. SO even if you are at such a place you could never feel 100% safe anyway...

#22 Edited by groverat (135 posts) -

@jArmAhead

PAX is a funny one to bring up since the drawing half of the Penny Arcade team is pretty openly transphobic. It isn't necessarily the gays who pass (as you seem to be) that face the problems. You can dismiss other modes of operating as a homosexual as being a "tool", but why bother? Why shouldn't a man be able to dress female at PAX without being judged negatively for it?

I understand your point about not needing to be an asshole to those who disagree, but some opinions are born out of intolerance. Jumping to the conclusion that a gay gamer convention is about excluding straights (it isn't) and wanting to feel special (it isn't) indicates an insulting and bigoted view towards homosexuals as a community.

My point is merely that it is not our place as individuals to say whether or not this kind of convention "should" happen and our presumptions about why it is happening speak to our biases.

#23 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@groverat: For once they are not transphobic. He just had a bad day and also apologized for his behavior end even gave a lot of money to a trans gender organisation. And once again go dress as a female at Pax and yeah you will get looks and some people will maybe try to insult you someway but not the majority. You will not get attacked and so on.

There is no anti gay or transgender activities at pax or at any gaming convention and there never will be. They see you as a person there and not what gender you are or want to be. Here is the thing just because some people do not accept it does not mean a convention like this is not save for these people. Everywhere you go in public there are people who are dicks but this is a very small minority. No one will attack you when you are walking on the streets. You as as much in danger of getting attacked as other people. No one wants to harm you more because you are a transgender or gay. You are not getting hunted down like jews back than.

#24 Posted by groverat (135 posts) -

What makes you think you know more about the ramifications of a gay gaming convention than the hundreds of homosexuals who have organized/made plans to attend said convention?

What makes you think you know more about what it is like to be LGBT at a gaming convention than the homosexuals who felt a gay gaming convention was necessary?

You can have a point of view, that's fine, but your stubborn refusal to acknowledge the validity of what hundreds (thousands?) of people who are different than you want to do is absolute pigheadedness (at best)/bigotry (at worst). It is privilege at its most obnoxious.

#25 Edited by Brodehouse (9876 posts) -

@darji said:

Ok a very serious question. Why do we need something like that? A save environment for the LGBT community? Can't they go to normal conventions? Why is this special? Are they showing only games for gay people?

But yeah I guess it is fine when you do not want equality but rather special.

They're not special, they're having a con with a specific purpose. Much like a fantasy con will be having panels about fantasy. If you like sci-fi you can show up, but the panels are going to be about fantasy. The panels at GaymerX are going to be about LGBT in games. If you want to hear those panels, go. If not, don't go. If you believe that having a con for a specific purpose is unequal, then we need to start showing movies and television and music at our video game conventions.

@groverat said:

Your complaint sounds like my racist uncle bitching about the existence of Black History Month and Black Entertainment Television.

Your uncle is somewhat right about Black History Month, unless there's also Irish History Month and Italian History Month and Chinese History Month. As a huge history fan, and someone who is specifically aware of America's nature as a nation of immigrants, I think they should have 12 months a year dedicated to all the various immigrant groups that have contributed to America... not just a single month used as a token of apology to a single group.

Black Entertainment Television, though, he's completely wrong on. They're creating a product and targeting a demographic. That's completely fair, as much as any product that targets your uncle. If BET was paid for by taxpayer dollars, I would change my position, but it's a product being sold to a demographic. It's no more unequal than Telemundo, or Treehouse, or Ye Olde White Folk Television Programme (which I assume is Fox News).

@spaceinsomniac said:

-but I absolutely think that anyone causing hostility towards gay people, or anyone else for that matter, should be immediately removed from any convention. There are reasons to have a LGBT convention, but I don't feel that "a safe space for gay people" is one of them. If that is a problem for any group or minority, that's a reason to change any convention that ISN'T a safe space for gay people. Throw those bigots out on their ass.

Nailed it.

I'm actively against 'safe spaces'. I think they're placebo horseshit that groups use not to protect, but to make people ignorant. That's what 'the kitchen' or 'the home' was for women, it was a 'safe space' that a) protected them from abuse from strangers, and b) kept them segregated from everyone else. So I don't support GaymerX because it's a 'safe space'. I do support it if it's simply a conference about LGBT people and issues in games. That's not to say I will agree with absolutely everything being said there, but if there's enough people who want to pay for a convention about LGBT stuff in games, then I don't see why they shouldn't have it. For gays and for straights. I'm interested to hear what they have to say. I'm sure some of it will be "straight privilege blah blah blah" but I'm also sure some of it will also be original and insightful.

#26 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@brodehouse: I totally get that. But I am really questioning his here.

to provide a safe environment for the LGBT community.

This just sounds like victimizing in my opinion. They do not need to be protected. The rest is totally fine and should be for everyone else. It is like a Pax with specializing in LGBT panels.and shows. And for the special part it was meant in general. If you make yourself "special" in a way like talking only about domestic violence against women instead of domestic violence in general or racism against black people instead of racism in general you make your self special in a very negative way in my opinion.

#27 Posted by Brodehouse (9876 posts) -

@darji said:

@brodehouse: I totally get that. But I am really questioning his here.

to provide a safe environment for the LGBT community.

This just sounds like victimizing in my opinion. They do not need to be protected. The rest is totally fine and should be for everyone else. It is like a Pax with specializing in LGBT panels.and shows. And for the special part it was meant in general. If you make yourself "special" in a way like talking only about domestic violence against women instead of domestic violence in general or racism against black people instead of racism in general you make your self special in a very negative way in my opinion.

No, it's not 'special', it's specific. As in, if I'm holding a panel talking specifically about LGBT abuse, then other abuse is only relevant as comparative data, to lend evidence to an argument. If I said LGBT were unique in suffering abuse, then yes, I would be making them special. But under your platform, speaking about anything in specific is unequal, which is obviously untenable.

And I've already said my spiel about 'safe space' psychology. It's just used to keep a group penned in, and frame any disagreement towards it as abuse or a threat. It is exactly what cults do, you remove people from an environment where they have to defend what they believe in with reason, continually prod their fear with the idea that 'only here can you be safe, everyone else is trying to hurt you', and through encouraging group security through personal insecurity, you encourage perpetual victimization.